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Farmington Hills family law attorney paternity

All children have two biological parents, but these individuals will not always be considered the child’s legal parents. If a mother is unmarried when her child is born, she and the child’s other parent will need to take steps to establish paternity in Michigan. Doing so can not only provide a child with a sense of identity and belonging, but it can also provide the child and the parents with a number of other legal benefits.

How Is Paternity Established in Michigan?

If a mother is married when her child is born, her spouse will be the legal parent of the child. If the mother got divorced within 10 months before her child was born, her ex-spouse will be the child’s legal parent. Typically, in situations where the mother is unmarried, the child’s father will not be recognized as a legal parent until paternity is established.

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MI family lawyerThe most common forms of adoption are family adoptions, specifically stepparent adoptions. Stepparent adoptions take place when one parent’s new spouse wants to adopt the child of that parent. This can help establish a more secure connection between the parent’s spouse and the child, but it can be difficult to attain, especially if the child’s other parent objects to the adoption. Stepparent adoptions can be important to families who want to bring themselves closer to each other and establish more secure ties, but they can also be stressful and emotionally demanding.

Parental Rights and Step Parent Adoption

Michigan law only allows a child to have two legal parents at any one time. This means that if a stepparent wants to adopt the child, the child’s current legal parent must agree to the adoption, voluntarily giving up their legal parental rights to the child. If the judge approves a stepparent adoption, the child’s other parent will lose all custody and visitation rights. They will also no longer be required to pay child support or have any other obligations to the child. These rights will all be transferred to the stepparent. Even if the stepparent and the child’s parent divorce in the future, the stepparent will still be the legal parent of the child.

If a Parent Objects to the Adoption

In order for a stepparent to adopt a child, the child’s other parent must consent to the adoption. If they do not consent to the adoption, the only way it can move forward is by an involuntary termination of parental rights. This can only be established by proving that the child’s other parent is unfit. Being unfit can mean that the parent has not provided support for the child and has failed to visit or contact the child.

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